[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

This is to respectfully inform you that at dawn of 17 Shahrivar of the current year [8 September 1980], seven of the wronged Baha’is of Yazd, who had been sentenced to death by the verdict of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, were executed, causing deep grief and sorrow, as well as concern and anxiety in thousands of Baha’i families residing in the beloved country of Iran.

In a statement issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, which was published on the last page of the Kayhan Newspaper, dated Tuesday, 18 Shahrivar 1359 [9 September 1980], regrettably, with reference made to certain reports from the Office of the National Documentation Centre of the Islamic Revolution—none of which were made available for public judgement—the Baha’is were referred to as the leaders of infidelity and blasphemy, corrupt enemies of Islam, betrayers of the Quran, agents of the United States and Israel, and agents of espionage against the Islamic Revolution. More importantly, the Assembly of the Baha’is of Yazd was presented as an agency for espionage. All these baseless allegations are firmly and strongly rejected by the Baha’i community.

The Baha’i community has always, and particularly since the Islamic Revolution, repeatedly and in utmost sincerity, by presenting to the respected authorities the principles of its beliefs based on the Baha’i Writings, stated its principal beliefs in the oneness of God, the oneness of the foundations of all religions, the belief in the Manifestations of God, and especially His Holiness the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the blessed Imams—may the blessings of God be bestowed upon Them all—as well as the belief in the need to cleave unto religion and spirituality. Furthermore, [we have] stated that while the Baha’is promote the unity of mankind and universal peace, and while they uphold the principle of unity and harmony among all the peoples of the world, nonetheless, based on their fundamental beliefs, they have a strong tie to and affection for their country and homeland, and regard service to their country and nation as a duty and obligation; they are forbidden from involvement in politics and eschew any type of conspiracy, treachery and betrayal; they are not associated with any political party and do not resort, turn or relate to any foreign government. Rather, by following the guidance given by the Founder of the Baha’i Teachings, stating that [from the Baha’i Writings regarding the guardians of the affairs and the refuge of the people][1], at times of severe afflictions and tribulations, they submit their pleas for redress to the respected authorities. If their rights be secured, that is well and good; otherwise, they put their reliance on God and commit their affairs unto Him. Now that you are seated on the throne of justice and fairness and are considered among those who are the guardians of the affairs and the refuge for the people in the beloved country of Iran, you will surely confirm that, praise be to God, throughout the 19 months that have elapsed since the Islamic revolution, and despite bearing all kinds of oppression, cruelty, injustice, violence, plundering and looting, demolition of properties, and murder of the individual members of their community, the Baha’i community has not deviated a hair’s breadth from those Teachings, and has not trodden any path but the path of pleas for redress, appeals for justice, or submission and acquiescence.

Considering the above, would Islamic justice and fairness justify that the people who hold such beliefs, in accordance with the Baha’i Writings and Teachings, be referred to as leaders of infidelity and blasphemy, corrupt, agents of the United States and Israel, betrayers of the Quran, enemies of Islam, and agents of espionage against the Islamic revolution? And in addition to all the allegations of the past, level such bizarre and heavy accusations against them, and pollute the minds of our dear fellow countrymen against this wronged and defenceless community? Over sixty years ago, the Interpreter of the Baha’i Teachings stated that a true Baha’i, in whatever country or land he might reside, must bear the following words in mind and abide by them: [from the Baha’i Writings][2]

In the statement issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, in addition to the above allegations against the members of the Baha’i community, the Assembly of the Baha’is of Yazd was presented as a spying institution. This is both astonishing and deeply disappointing, inasmuch as a Baha’i Spiritual Assembly is not at all permitted to interfere in politics, nor in the affairs of the state. Its duty is to attend to the spiritual and social affairs of the community and to resolve the problems of the individual Baha’i members residing in that locality. The duties of the Baha’i Spiritual Assemblies and their members, as stated in the Baha’i Writings, which fortunately are available and accessible to the respected authorities of the Islamic Republic, are explained and specified as follows:

Purity of motive; righteous nature; not protesting the government; non-interference in political matters; constant encouragement of the Baha’is to obey the government, serve the country and the nation, avoid all that which will lead to mischief and sedition, deal with all people in a spirit of fellowship and be of selfless service; instruction and education of children; training in beneficial sciences; establishment of schools; design and provision of the means of craftsmanship; engagement in a form of occupation and agriculture; helping the poor and the feeble; incurring the expenses of the underaged, orphans, poor and sick; betterment and rehabilitation of the affairs of people; protection of individuals and their honour; and to bolster and reinforce the spirit of interaction and co-operation between the members of the community. Now, would it be fair to regard a Baha’i Spiritual Assembly that functions according to such duties, whose nine members are elected each year by the Baha’is of that locality and who have no rank or position, as an agency for espionage? At present, in every city and locality throughout the beloved country of Iran, as well as all over the world, thousands of Baha’i Spiritual Assemblies are carrying out their duties as stated above without any deviation from their spiritual duties, and they have never, God forbid, been accused of any form of conspiracy, treachery and betrayal of the government or the people.

[We] plead with your honourable and respected authority, according to the blessed Verse “Deal justly; that is nearer to your duty”[3], to turn your gaze towards this wronged, oppressed and obedient community whose members are lovers of Iran, and who have been oppressed and treated with cruelty, and protect them under the shadow of the government of Islamic justice, and to exert all efforts to respect their human and social rights, protect their lives, livelihood, and honour, and thus bring peace and security to the hearts of thousands of anxious and concerned Baha’i families, and not allow the reflection of such misconduct in any way to harm or damage the good name and credibility of the Islamic Republic in the eyes of other nations of the world.

 

On behalf of the Baha’i community of Iran

Samimi

Majzoub

 

 

 

[1] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

 "علیکم بولاة الامور و ملاذ الجمهور"

[2] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"هر ذلتی را تحمل توان نمود مگر خیانت بوطن و هر گناهی قابل عفو و مغفرت است مگر هتک ناموس دولت و مضرت ملت".

[3] The Quran (Pickthall tr.), 5:8